The Impacts Of Employer-Sponsored Adoption Assistance Programs: A Process Analysis

Stephanie Scarritt Hunt, School for International Training


The purpose of this capstone paper is to answer the research question, “How have Employer-Sponsored Adoption Assistance Programs impacted the workplace?” Research was conducted by analyzing literature central to the fields of employee benefits, workplace commitment, organizational behavior, and social exchange as well as by performing a largely qualitative study based on surveys and adoption assistance materials. Six human resource professionals, who work directly with adoption assistance programs, and eleven employees, who have received employer-sponsored adoption assistance, participated in the study. A mixedmodel concept chart was devised to join relevant theories belonging to the aforementioned fields and survey questions were developed within the context of this framework. Conclusions were made after considering both the employer and employee adoption assistance processes. The inquiry found that employer-sponsored adoption assistance programs make a small, yet positive, impact on the workplace through the creation of a positive employer-employee exchange. On the other hand, the inquiry reveals that employees’ emotional attachment to their employing organizations does not increase as a result of adoption assistance. Research suggests that the modest financial reimbursement, insufficient paid time off, and lack of flexibility offered by organizations to adopting employees may inhibit the further development of this relationship. The initial goal for this research was to generate knowledge that would prove useful to adoptive parents lobbying for employer-sponsored adoption assistance. However, the best use for the results of this inquiry are as a stepping-stone for further research on family-friendly support within the workplace.